From a Prisoner at Pelican Bay SHU

Day Nine and Going Strong

July 24, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.


Our peaceful protest here at Pelican Bay SHU [Security Housing Unit] is alive and well. Today makes day nine and we are going strong and intend to continue indefinitely! The state has refused to meet our 5 demands and so we refuse to continue to be tortured in such a horrible way. So far the prison has taken 14 of those they are calling "strike leaders" and segregated them from everyone else. This will only serve to push our efforts forward stronger because we are being punished for exercising our right to peaceful protest.

Pelican Bay SHU will one day be closed and used as a museum to show what horrors Amerika stooped to and to show future generations the crimes against humanity that the people endured in Pelican Bay. The SHUs in California hold more Chicanos than any other nationality even though Chicanos are a minority in California prisons. Black and Brown prisoners fill California prisons to the point the courts had to tell—order the Governor to reduce the prison population; Governor Brown has so far refused. We know we will get no movement out of relying on the state and we know we cannot gain anything individually but just like out in U.S. society our freedom will only come out of a United Front.

Most of us in SHU like our counter parts in SuperMax dungeons across the U.S. and beyond have lived a life full of despair, we have felt the brunt of state repression of being hunted by the pigs in our community and resisted from being neutralized in so many ways by the state. We know what living years with hunger pains is—our entire existence is like one big hunger strike. But we astound the state, they are amazed and frightened at our resilience and when the clubs don't work and the mace and bullets don't work they will attack our mind—psychologically.

The SHU and Supermax exist as psychological warfare where poor rebellious peoples mostly from the oppressed nations are targeted in an attempt to either break us or neutralize us mentally. Most suicides occur in prisons where people are in SHU or solitary confinement, isolation is a known method of torture and yet California has thousands in this style of captivity. Why? Because it is part of the program employed by the state on the "figure of authority" i.e., the target. This is like any military operation only we do not wear fatigues we wear prison jumpsuits. The weapon of choice is not a 50 caliber it's an isolation cell and the battlefield is not some desert it's the barrio and ghetto.

Let us see what we are up against and how we are being picked off, these are new methods in the predators' arsenal that we should identify as it is a war we are engaged in, a low intensity war launched on poor people!

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